Trying to reverse the BJP’s ongoing attacks on donations from China to the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, the INC today launched an attack on the Narendra Modi government and the BJP for taking money from Chinese companies in the PM CARES fund. The party cited Prime Minister Modi’s nine-time visit to China, accusing him of having a special affinity for China.
Yesterday, the BJP had accused the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, chaired by Congress President Sonia Gandhi of having received funds from the Chinese Embassy between 2005 and 2009 during the Congress-led UPA government’s tenure apart from other allegedly dodgy contributions and transactions into the fund. The INC had issued an explanation later in the day and claimed that the BJP was dragging Rajiv Gandhi Foundation to deflect attention from the government’s handling of the current border crisis with China that saw 20 Indian Army soldiers killed in the Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
The INC claimed that due to the prime minister’s special relationship with Beijing, Chinese companies gave large sums to the PM CARES fund. Former INC president Rahul Gandhi questioned the government over the Chinese encroachment in Ladakh and asked when it would talk about protecting the nation.
The desperation of the INC in reacting to the allegation of the BJP with a counter-allegation can be gauged from the fact that despite testing positive for coronavirus, spokesperson of the oldest party Abhishek Manu Singhvi made a public appearance to attack the BJP today through a video press conference.
‘PM CARES unaccountable’
Referring to the trail of Chinese money in PM CARES, Singhvi said, “No president of any political party in this country has had to continuous exchanges with CCP like BJP Presidents right from Rajnath Singh to Gadkari ji to Amit Shah. There have been visits and delegations between BJP and CCP, repeatedly.”
“In the last few days, we’ve given you maps, points, locations, satellite images, photos but answer has only been ‘Rajiv Gandhi foundation’. I am deliberately making a statement which I need not and I dare PM, government and ruling party to falsify my next statement,” Singhvi said.
Singhvi said that donations received to RGF had been audited and “everything is before the people”.
The important question is, the INC spokesperson said, why PM CARES was formed in the name of COVID, which can neither be subjected to audit by the CAG nor does it fall in the purview of the RTI. He asked why the money needed to tackle the pandemic could not be channelled through the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund.
‘PM CARES received money from Huawei, TikTok, PayTM…’
“Rs 7 crore in this fund has been received from Huawei. Everyone knows Huawei is the alter ego of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) hence the Chinese government. Rs 30 crore has come from the Chinese company TikTok. PayTM with 38% Chinese controlled shareholding has donated,” Singhvi was quoted as saying on the official website of the INC.
Singhvi alleged there was no transparency in PM CARES and that it had become the fund for the ruling party in which about Rs 9,600 crore has come so far. “This includes money from China,” he said.
INC media department head Randeep Surjewala attacked the prime minister for not including the issue of Chinese aggression in his weekly radio broadcast Mann Ki Baat. He said that in those 33 min, Prime Minister Modi did not even mention the name of China. “Why does he fear China so much?” Surjewala posed.
Surjewala asked Modi to stand with the forces of the country by moving forward like a strong prime minister of a strong India instead of fearing China. “So that our forces can drive out Chinese forces from areas such as Galvan Valley, Pangong Tso, Finger Four, Hot Spring and the Depsang ‘wall’,” he said.
Responding to the INC’s allegation on television, national spokesman of the BJP Sambit Patra said the charge against the opposition party was not merely of corruption but also of sedition because Sonia and Rahul Gandhi signed an MoU with Xi Jinping for their association with a Chinese intelligence gathering agency.
While designated spokespersons of the BJP did not tweet about PM CARES, CEO of website OpIndia, which leans towards the ruling party, Rahul Roushan tweeted, “Chinese company donating to PM Cares vs Chinese govt giving money to Sonia’s outfit is same as Nadeem paying income taxes vs Nadeem paying supaari (money for contract-killing).”